Sunday, May 18, 2008
A public lynching ... posse unknown
I don't know. I repeat: I don't know ... I'm just asking: what if we're watching a good person being lynched right before our eyes? What if his "personnel issue" is that he might have become a thorn in Gordon Campbell's side? Like I say: I don't know. But I am impressed and aggrieved by the comments coming in to The Legislature Raids from people who apparently do know more of the facts surrounding former Chief of Police Paul Battershill. This comment (below) in particular, responding to ideas put forward at Victoria Police Department since Battershill got his time-out last October, tells us:
Anonymous wrote on May 18 ...
You can increase street arrests just by making some easy drug arrests, it means nothing. Our union is upset because he was a decent chief and they were hoping he'd go into government and we'd finally have somebody in there who understood the issues. Everybody knew he was getting ready to go in a year, that's the sick part.
Well ... I didn't know that either. But if it's true that Paul Battershill intended to retire from Victoria Police in a year ... and if he could have been persuaded to be a candidate in the next election ... then:
* why attack someone in the final months of his service? It obviously wasn't a constructive complaint about police service. It was something else.
* was he "taken out" because he might be a sure winner in the 2009 race for the next B.C. government?
* was this attack on his integrity connected to his role as co-leader of the police raid on the B.C. Legislature? Was this public challenge over "a personnel issue" a covert attempt to discredit him before he might be called to testify at the Basi-Virk / BC Rail corruption trial?
* was this one of the so-called "dirty tricks" political attacks as discussed in evidence at the Basi-Virk / BC Rail trial? Although more intense, it seems very similar to attacks which have been reported against Paul Nettleton, former Liberal M.L.A. for Prince George who resisted Premier Campbell's privatization of BC Hydro and BCRail; against the Mayor of North Vancouver who resisted BC Rail privatization; against Jim Sinclair and the BCFederation of Labour -- also opponents of BCRail privatization; and against Carole James, Leader of the Opposition.
If any of these questions can be answered with "Yes", then B.C. has been hit hard. If excellence in public service is declared suspect, then a threat reverberates throughout the civil service. Also: the electoral process itself is corrupted if candidates can be dive-bombed even before the voting begins. If "Yes", then the Battershill issue is a sly, politically-motivated, modern-day lynching taking place right before our eyes.
Then the findings of the RCMP's report to the Victoria Police Board will be secret. Of course.
But former Chief of Police Battershill does get to see the findings. He got them May 8 and is given 10 business days in which to respond, or to request a public inquiry. So May 8 + 10 business days means that by May 21, we may hear the first reported words from Paul Battershill since this disturbing affair began.
If those "findings" claim that Paul Battershill did anything short of scraping the gilt off the cupola of the Parliament Building, I hope the former Chief insists upon a public inquiry.
Let this former Chief of Police for B.C.'s capital city have his say. Let the people hear anything he needs to explain, anything his tormentors want to explain. Let the people of Victoria and the rest of B.C. ask all the questions currently tumbling around in our heads.
Let it be Paul Battershill's first public speech of his 2009 electoral campaign.
- BC Mary
Other comments about this "personnel issue":
Anonymous said on May 16:
The scuttlebut in the Policing World is that Chief Battershill will be exonerated........lets face it the truth WILL come out and we will see who was behind this coup............
What goes round.....comes around!
Anonymous said on May 17:
Did they ever find out who broke in to [Paul Battershill's] lawyer's office or in to Tieleman's office?
Anonymous said on May 17:
This is the biggest recent travesty in policing in BC. Absolutely shameful.
Thank you, anonymous 12:45, for mentioning Jamie Graham.
I went onto "Prime Time Crime" and found a statement written by Jamie Graham. Wow. Recommended reading:
All I know, 12:45, is that the truth probably won't prevail unless we ALL start telling the truth of what we know ...
It looks to me as if the climate of corruption may have reached critical mass where citizens who value their safety have to think twice before they speak out.
So double-thanks for your tip.
There is no doubt the police do truly great things but remaining neutral is not one of them. I think it is well and fine for their union or asociation to speak out. And to speak to the public interest and security through education and communication. But when they start sounding like and acting like politicians...
A good example of this politicking was following the Robert Dziekanski killing. When officers were appearing several times a day in the media. Explaining away the actions that were taken before the investigation was even completed.
Another example is the flawed drug discourse that they pass off as education and communication...
Then there are the Frank Paul's of the world and DTES sex trade workers. Who are in need of the very best of police services but got lip service.
Whether it's Paul Battershill or Kim Rossmo the song remains the same.
There is a thin blue line and there is blue mean-ness to deny it is absurd. To deny the extent of it is worse.
Many thanks for your comment.
I've read it 6 times trying to get a grip on its meaning ... without real success.
I do understand the need to be prudent in discussing these matters but I wonder if you could clarify these remarks. If you prefer to write privately - just place NOT FOR PUBLICATION in the top line of your next comment(s).
The best guess I can make, from your message today, is that the para-military police forces don't quite know what to make of their outstanding members, or how best to handle them.
If so, I think that's partly what bothers me so much about the Battershill case: what does this say about excellence in the public service? Do we sit idly by, while excellence is driven off and standards keep dropping so as to bring in new recruits?
If I remember correctly, Kim Rossmo was whip-sawed one way and another: first celebrated, then made uncomfortable enough that he quit the force.
What do you mean by "caught in a sting" (and yes, I know what a sting is)? What do you mean by denial of the thin blue line and the extent of it ... it's just not computing ... so I hope you will write again.
This ongoing column of yours, "The Legislature Raids", is doing too good of a job at revealing to the public exactly what is not happening.
How many other trials have been extended, re-extended and delayed to this degree in any other court case in BC, or for goodness sake, in Canada?
These "nuggets" of distraction are as about as forthcoming to the public knowing what was really behind the Legislature raids as opening up another fortune cookie only to discover it has nothing to do with reality.
Stay focussed, don't be distracted by the thin blue mean line.
When I think of an incident where a minister tried to bring up a subject with this premier in cabinet and was told in very expletive wording where to get off. And then another instance where he leaked private information on his former leader. Who by the way brought the liberals from the ashes. About the refusal to step down when charged with DUI in Hawaii (because it wasn't Canada). Sobbing about helping MADD. (was that ever done?)
And a miriad of other things that make this man a control freak whose sole purpose in life is to bad mouth the NDP and Unions.
Everything, and I mean everything he does is for the sole purpose (I allege) of keeping his power.
So I'm afraid that yes, Battershill,one of the best, if not the best, Police Chiefs in this country has been set up.
My only hope is that he follow through on his end. If he is exhonerated then finish out his term. At the end of the year run for Provincial election. I don't care which party. Even if he goes independant. Do it. Follow through.
Don't let them wear you down Paul. Not only the department you headed, but a lot of the people in this province back you.
In a nutshell: while the police do a lot of good.
They can set you up very easily even one of their own.
The police have a certain culture it can be seen worldwide. Some examples are more overt than others. Whether they are pepper spraying students on their tawny front lawns or running you over in Tiannamen Square, the mentality permeates the ranks. I hope that clears it up.
Wow you know my ISP...are you a lurker of some sort? While your making allegations, please allow me to get in on the act. Are you the same hate monger who resides as master of pomp and cheap shots at the Rafe Mair' site? Are you that same libertarian who believes it's all bootstraps and backbone and child slave labour is a sport for good ole boys? Just curious?
The idea that I'm a Campbell-ite is a good example of your skewed perceptions...go pack sand guy you might like it!
I've been thinking a lot about that too. First, I think it's NOT OK for us to sit quietly, hands folded. At very least, we must let certain people know that continued secrecy is not OK. People like:
* your MLA
* the Attorney General
* the premier
* the Editors
* the journalists
And if anyone thinks these quiet complaints don't add up, have a look at today's top editorial in The Globe and Mail. Furious anger at Mr Gordon Campbell for his efforts to curb free speech.
* mention to any or all of the people you contact, the need to have TV camera in the courtroom for the Basi Virk Basi / BC Rail Trial,
* mention that British Columbia must have a Public Inquiry when this trial ends (no matter how it ends,
* mention that the findings MUST NOT be kept secret (which will require new legislation).
Think of Citizen efforts as water droplets wearing away stone. I mean, it does work, eh?
Here's something else to think about:
I'm learning of more and more bright, clever B.C. "movers and shakers" who regularly read this web-site. In other words, whatever TRUTH you know, or feel, can be told here ... to reach others who can be a help.
Sure, there are others, too, who might look good in a SHUT UP T-Shirt but hey, it's not a perfect world.
Thanks for writing, dmc.
Curious about 2 things:
1. On Tues. on Christy Clark show Chief Heed of the West Van police was speaking out about a regional police force for Metro Van.
2. A couple of weeks ago Chief Chu of Van. was in Victoria with a rented plane and a big sign about hiring more cops, the he announces that VPD is using U-Tube to advertise for more cops. U-Tube, of course, alerts the world (and the terrorists) that VPD needs more bodies.
What are these two doing seeking so much publicity?
Is there some contest going on between them? What is all this costing the taxpayer? Since when do cops have spare time to go on Liberal leaning media shows?
Still waiting for my SHUT UP T-shirt. Until it arrives, will keep in touch.
Thanks, 1:07. Good questions.
I've come down with a horrible cold,
can't swallow ... may have to go to
Hold the fort, eh.